Live Phish Remasters: Part Two

It was a cool night in the Berkeley foothills but the crowd was heated up and the band responded in kind, opening with “Chalk Dust Torture”. Next came the complexities of “Guyute” followed by a relaxed and grooving “Ocelot”, a song about the wildcat that adorns the headstock inlay on Trey’s new guitar, and “It’s Ice”. The music never stopped for the rest of set one as Phish tore through a topical combination of “Cities”, with its invocation of the ancient Greeks and an explosively funky Jam that formed the set’s apex, into “The Moma Dance”. Set one ended on a high note with “Bathtub Gin” > “Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan”.

Set two started with the Velvet Underground’s “Rock And Roll”, which briefly visited a mystical place (known as “Berkeley Jam 2”) before dropping into “Ghost”. This short but hot “Ghost” lit up with a groove that was still building when it bumped into the opening riffs of “Mike’s Song”. The selection recognized the especially resounding quality of Mike’s bass at the Greek and this dark and heavy “Mike’s Song” led to the pinnacle moment of the set if not the run. “Simple” that came next built patiently with exquisite restraint. Spacey digital delay provided a landing into “Backwards Down The Number Line” which in turn introduced California to the universal themes of the “Show Of Life”. “You Enjoy Myself” closed the body of set two with an Encore of “Good Times, Bad Times” as the middle show of this classic three-night stand drew to a close.

Show #2 = 08/07/2010 – Greek Theatre


Kevin Shapiro on 08/07/2010: On Saturday August 7, 2010, Phish played the final show of a sold-out three-night stand at the Greek Theatre. After setting the bar high with the previous two shows, expectations soared. As the band continued their 2010 Greek run, they seemed to reach higher each night as they basked in the glow of this historic venue and an attentive crowd.

Phish opened the show with an old-school pairing of “AC/DC Bag” > “Foam”, the latter of which featured Page’s fine piano work. “Gotta Jibboo” was next as the band deepened their connection with the same patient, open-eared approach that developed over the previous shows. After a long pause they ripped into “Reba” as Trey’s new guitar emitted a flow of pretty leads and staccato runs amidst intricate Rhodes work by Page. Fish and Mike set the foundation for a soaring jam that came to a close without whistling. The year’s last “Sleep Again” and “Army Of One” provided a needed moment of reflection before “Poor Heart” led to a sizzling combination of “46 Days” > “Tube”, the former of which included a playful “Streets Of Cairo” tease by Trey among other highlights. Holding the last bass note from “Tube”, Mike provided the bridge to a fiery, sing-a-long “Character Zero” that ended one of the few sets of 2010 that fits on a single CD.

After another lovely sunset over the San Francisco Bay, the band kicked off set two with “Wilson” > “Light”. This rendition of “Light” climbed to pinnacle heights, bending and floating to a sublime place that only Phish can go. As with “Simple” the previous night, this heavenly Jam transcended the limits of time and space before resolving perfectly into The Golden State’s first performance of “Twenty Years Later”. Twenty Years slid neatly into “Harry Hood”, which Fish accentuated with ghost notes on a second snare drum, press rolls and other percussion wizardry. As had become the rule here, the band quickly hooked up for this jam as they traded sustained notes that hung in the night air and reverberated across the Greek’s open bowl. Harry gave way to “Theme From The Bottom”, which built patiently to a strong peak, continuing the dynamic tone of this whole run of shows. Phish’s trademark reading of Deodato’s “2001” sustained the fun as fans jumped up and down with arms in the air and Mike repeatedly punctuated the funk with his foot bell. The thick “2001” groove gave way to a rocking “Suzy Greenberg” and shaking the trees for a few more minutes before slowing down for “Slave To The Traffic Light”. Slave featured a spacious jam that found the crowd mesmerized, leaning into the notes as if to connect more deeply with each one. Having started with “Wilson”, this special set could only end with the first “The Lizards” encore in nearly fifteen years as the eager crowd sang along “but I’m never ever going back there and I couldn’t if I tried…” and closed their eyes for the instrumental ending, wondering if or when such a run at such a place would happen again. Not another word was uttered as “First Tube” put the finishing touch on an incredible three days of music at one of the must stunning spots there is.

Show #3 = 08/13/2010 – Deer Creek


Kevin Shapiro on 08/13: On Friday August 13, 2010, Phish played the second show of a sold-out two-night stand at the Verizon Wireless Music Center, commonly known as Deer Creek. It was the seventh show on Leg 2 of the band’s summer tour and their twentieth headline show at this outdoor covered amphitheater with a capacity of about 24,000. Phish first played this venue fifteen years earlier and had since played two nights each summer in 1996 (8/13/96 was released in 2002 on CD as LivePhish 12), 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009. They also played three-night stands in 2000 and 2003 making this Phish’s most common outdoor summer host and a favorite of many fans who travel from across the country to camp in the surrounding cornfields. This was Friday, August 13th, which was also somewhat of an historic return – the band played a breakthrough gig on that same date seventeen years earlier at the Murat Theatre in Indianapolis (Murat 1993 – 8/13/93 was released in 2007). It was with this rich background that 2010’s Friday the 13th show took shape.

As temperatures soared into the mid-90’s, Phish kicked off the show with a rocking “Chalk Dust Torture” (surprisingly the first Chalk opener ever at Deer Creek) followed by “Guelah Papyrus”, which was played only one other time in Noblesville in 1997. The Fishman- penned bluegrass number “My Sweet One” came next, followed by “Axilla” and “I Didn’t Know” with a classic vacuum solo by Fish. “Walls Of The Cave” was played for the first time since the band’s 2009 return and preceded “Stash” and the alien themes of Mike’s ballad “Train Song” (the only version of the year) > “Backwards Down The Number Line”. “Ocelot” found the band improvising a bit more as Trey dropped some sweet leads. Deer Creek’s first “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” came at sunset. This Lynyrd Skynyrd cover, which recently returned to the live repertoire the previous summer, featured the band’s blues chops and Page’s soulful vocals. “Wilson” > “Possum” closed set one.

A mostly non-stop set two began with “Halley’s Comet” > “Light”, the latter of which inspired the band to venture outside the beat and let their freak flag fly, eventually hovering free for a few ambient minutes. The ambience led into “46 Days” which in turn transitioned to a high octane “Maze”. Set two continued with “Meatstick”, which showcased the band’s skills with Japanese lyrics before morphing through a unique and musically intense segue into “The Mango Song”. The band followed Trey’s lead one at a time into Mango, creatively riding it atop the “Meatstick” beat for a while before committing and ultimately finishing the song by starting “Fluffhead”. Fluff blew the place up before resolving into “Julius”, which brought the set to a high-energy close. The Deer Creek faithful were treated to an encore of “Contact” into a passionate “Slave To The Traffic Light” that provided a fitting end to another steamy stay at Deer Creek.

You can purchase all of these remasters through iTunes or at your local record store.

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